Brummer Award – Highest Award for Heroism
The Brummer Award, established in 1968 by Wall Street financier and philanthropist Bertram F. Brummer, represents valor, heroism, and outstanding performance of duty by members of the New York State Police. Inclusive of this year, the Brummer Award has been presented 95 times, including 13 times posthumously.
Trooper Daniel Hoffman, Troop K
On the night of May 14, 2012, Trooper Daniel Hoffman and Trooper Michael Hettinger were dispatched by Dutchess County 911 for a possible burglary in progress in the Town of LaGrange, which proved to be a home invasion robbery in progress. While Trooper Hettinger took a position toward the rear of the residence, Trooper Hoffman approached and entered the residence through the front door. While inside the residence he was immediately attacked and knocked onto the floor by a masked suspect who was armed with a sawed-off rifle. While the suspect attempted to repeatedly strike him with the butt end of the rifle, Trooper Hoffman was able to kick the suspect off. When the suspect leveled the firearm at Trooper Hoffman, he discharged his Division issued firearm, striking the suspect twice. The suspect was later pronounced dead at the scene. Four additional suspects involved in the home invasion fled the residence and were later apprehended.
Superintendent’s Commendation Awards
The recipients of the Superintendents Commendation Awards were selected from the many members who have received Letters of Commendation from the Superintendent during the past year. The awards presented today recognize the recipients’ outstanding performance of duty and exceptional contribution to the New York State Police.
Trooper Christopher B. Sullivan, Troop A
On the night of May 22, 2012, Trooper Christopher B. Sullivan responded to a 911 call for an unresponsive 23 month old female child. The child was found face down in the family in ground swimming pool in the Town of Boston. Upon Trooper Sullivan’s arrival, the child was found to be unresponsive and not breathing. Trooper Sullivan immediately began CPR and after the first cycle of compressions, the child began to breathe and gurgle. Members of the Boston Emergency Squad arrived and transported the child to Women and Children’s Hospital in the city of Buffalo where she was initially listed in critical condition. The child was subsequently released from the hospital and was expected to make a full recovery.
Investigators Jason J. Pelkey and Dennis C. Dwyer II, Troop B
On June 19, 2012, an investigation was commenced after information was obtained indicating that Dale Jarvis Sr. of Chateaugay, New York, may be a missing person. This information resulted in an extensive investigation and successful conclusion of a homicide case in which Investigators Jason J. Pelkey and Dennis C. Dwyer II participated. During the course of the investigation, Mr. Jarvis’ son, Dale S. Jarvis, Jr., was as a suspect in his father’s disappearance. As a member of Troop B Violent Crimes Investigation Team, Investigator Dwyer was assigned as the lead investigator for this case. During subsequent interviews of Dale Jarvis Jr., he provided an elaborate version of his father’s disappearance, which was quickly established as a fabrication. Based on Investigator Dwyer’s personal observations and interviews, he gathered the necessary evidence to obtain a search warrant for the Jarvis property. During the search, the remains of Mr. Jarvis were located buried under debris on his property. Significant physical evidence, which further tied Dale Jarvis Jr. to the death of his father, was recovered buried 12 feet deep on the property. An autopsy was performed, and the manner of death was ruled a homicide due to severe skull fractures and brain injuries caused by blunt force trauma. Investigators Dwyer and Pekley’s investigation established that Dale S. Jarvis Jr. had killed his father during an argument in the residence and then methodically disposed of his father’s body and evidence, which he buried with a backhoe on the property. The overwhelming evidence collected throughout this investigation was instrumental in the District Attorney being able to resolve this case without going to trial. On September 11, 2012, Dale S. Jarvis Jr. pled guilty to Manslaughter 1st and was subsequently sentenced to 15 years in state prison.
Investigator Raymond A. Planty (now Senior Investigator), Troop B
On November 17, 2010, Jason M. Wing, age 21, was reported missing by his stepbrother. Wing hadn’t been seen in more than two and a half months and his last known address was in Winthrop, New York, living with Dustin J. Trimm. Wing and Trimm were alleged to have been involved in a long-term relationship. Dustin Trimmwas interviewed and admitted to their relationship. He stated Wing had suddenly left the area at the end of August 2010, and could offer no plausible explanation as to why Wing left without notifying any of his friends or family. He claimed to have no knowledge of Wing's whereabouts at that time. For two months, numerous leads were investigated by Troop B BCI including the Troop B Violent Crimes Investigation Team (VCIT). There was no indication Wing had been seen alive since late August 2010. On January 21, 2011, Troop B VCIT adopted the case and Investigator Raymond A. Planty was assigned as the case investigator. Throughout the remainder of the year, Investigator Planty and the Troop B VCIT continued a methodical investigation which kept leading back to Trimm. Investigator Planty was eventually able to obtain a search warrant for the property on which Wing was believed to be buried. On February 1, 2012, buried human remains, subsequently determined to be those of Jason M. Wing,were recovered in the town of Norfolk, St. Lawrence County, New York. The murder weapon used to kill Wing was also located buried on the property. An autopsy was conducted and the manner of death was determined to be a homicide due to a gunshot wound to the head. On February 2, 2012, Dustin J. Trimm was arrested for Murder 2nd degree.
Investigator Todd F. Grant, Troop D
Investigator Todd F. Grant is assigned to the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center. On February 20, 2012, he was advised that a complainant reported her 16-year-old daughter, as a runaway, had been forced into prostitution. The child was initially uncooperative, however Investigator Grant spent several months visiting her in Office of Children and Family Services facilities and gradually gained her trust. These interviews revealed she had been picked up walking the streets of Utica, NY, taken to a house, and eventually been injected with heroin and forced into prostitution. She was also photographed and advertised as an escort. During the year-long investigation, Investigator Grant was able to identify nine individuals who had been involved in her exploitation. Through toll analysis and internet searches he was able to document the activity and identify two customers who had patronized her, eventually working his way into the loose network that had profited from her activities. With the assistance of SP Marcy investigators and the Oneida County District Attorney’s office, all nine subjects were arrested, and videotaped confessions were obtained from eight of them. Several had prior felony convictions, and one was also a registered sex offender from another state. The main three suspects in the network were charged with B-Felony Sex Trafficking, and the others were charged with a variety of other crimes. According to local police sources, these suspects had been engaged in promoting prostitution for an extended period. Due to the strength of the case and the use of the internet, the case is also being prosecuted federally. The case has received extensive media attention. Due to the tireless efforts of Investigator Grant, a troubled 16-year-old child has been weaned from a drug addiction, and is on the road to reclaiming a normal life. A prostitution network has been dismantled, and several dangerous criminals are facing significant prison sentences. Also, the extensive media attention has helped bring to light the existence and extent of the sex trafficking trade being conducted in small cities throughout the state. Were it not for Investigator Grant’s work on this case, a troubled teenage girl might have been lost to the streets for good.
Investigator George V. Grbic and Trooper David W. Pearce Jr., Troop E
On the night of January 14, 2012, Investigator George V. Grbic, along with Trooper David W. Pearce, was clearing from a call in Marion, NY when they were advised that smoke appeared to be coming from an apartment above a local pizza shop. After notifying 911, both members responded upstairs where they encountered smoke in the hallway and an audible alarm. They immediately entered the apartment to search for occupants and were met with thick smoke, forcing them to crawl along the floor. They located an unconscious male on a bed, pulled him into the airspace near the floor, and dragged him from the apartment to safety. The victim subsequently regained consciousness and was treated by ambulance personnel. It was determined that he had been cooking food on the stove and inadvertently fell asleep. If not for the quick actions of both members, the subject would likely have succumbed to the thick smoke in the apartment in a short amount of time.
Trooper Michael J. Buchinger, Troop E
On November 16, 2012, Trooper Michael J. Buchinger was dispatched to a report of a disoriented male subject, who was seen lying in the roadway. The subject had informed the complainant he had been discharged from the hospital. After Trooper Buchinger contacted the hospital with a description of the man, the staff verified that he had signed himself out against their advice, and suffered from a serious leg and traumatic brain injuries. Trooper Buchinger checked the location where the man was seen lying in the roadway with negative results, and then proceeded to the subject’s residence, also with negative results. In an effort to get a better location, he contacted the initial 911 caller who was able to give him additional details regarding the location where she last saw him. Trooper Buchinger went to the area located the residence she described and began interviewing potential witnesses, when he heard a rustling noise approximately 70 yards away. Trooper Buchinger began checking the area of heavy brush and subsequently located the male subject, who apparently had fallen into a concrete tank filled with water in sub-freezing weather conditions. It is very unlikely that this man would have survived the night given his medical condition, compounded with the freezing temperatures, if not for Trooper Buchinger’s diligence.
Investigator Christopher A. Jones, Computer Crimes Unit, Troopers Rajindra R. Boodhoo and Keith Slevinski, Troop F
On August 17, 2012, Trooper Rajindra R. Boodhoo received a complaint of a 15-year-old runaway. Trooper Boodhoo interviewed the juvenile’s parents and determined she may have fled the area. Using surveillance technology, Trooper Boodhoo obtained information the teen planned to travel from the Port Authority in New York City to Arizona or Nevada, known child trafficking routes used in the sex industry. Trooper Boodhoo advised the parents to bring in the teen’s laptop for review. Trooper Keith Slevinski, a cyber crime specialist, performed a content check of the PC to review files for possible leads. Some information was recovered. Trooper Boodhoo then sought the assistance of Investigator Christopher A. Jones of the Computer Crimes Unit who ascertained the 15-year-old had been “chatting” online. Investigator Jones logged into dozens of sexual based chat rooms and working with information developed by Trooper Boodhoo, was able to locate several postings made by the 15-year-old under different screen names. He then began the enormous task of searching through the lists of respondents communicating with the teen. Investigator Jones was ultimately able to identify one respondent who had also called the teen with a now disposed of TracFone. Investigator Jones was able to obtain additional information that led in the direction of the State of Michigan. On August 24, 2012, the juvenile was located in the basement of a Michigan home, being held captive in a cage. The man was determined to be the male that assisted her in running away. He was arrested on charges in Michigan for Rape 1st with pending federal and New York charges.
Investigator Michael T. Kelly, Troop F
On December 13, 2008, Investigator Michael T. Kelly responded to a fatal structure fire at a residence in the Town of Narrowsburg. The female homeowner was found deceased in the basement, buried under the charred remains of her residence. Investigator Kelly interviewed the victim’s estranged husband who had separated from her and was in the process of a hotly contested divorce. The ex-husband stated he had been in Long Island with his new girlfriend at the time of the fire. Every effort made by Investigator Kelly to disprove the ex-husband’s alibi met with negative results. In April 2012, the ex-husband’s former girlfriend contacted Investigator Kelly to admit she lied when she offered an alibi for the victim’s ex-husband when interviewed in 2008. On September 27, 2012, after years of effort and a complete case review, Investigator Kelly traveled to the state of Florida where he arrested the ex-husband on murder charges and had him extradited back to New York State.
Trooper Joseph M. Bleichner, Troop F
On May 24, 2012, Trooper Joseph M. Bleichner was flagged down by residents on Route 209 in Ulster County who advised their house was on fire and a family member was still inside the residence. Trooper Bleichner observed smoke billowing from the eaves of the residence and immediately contacted Ulster County Fire Control. Then, in spite of the conditions and disregarding his personal safety, Trooper Bleichner entered the burning residence. Trooper Bleichner saw that the stairwell and the second floor were ompletely filled with smoke. Trooper Bleichner could hear the resident calling out from the second floor and ascended the stairs in an effort to locate him. Trooper Bleichner entered a second floor bedroom where the fire was actively burning and located the resident who was disoriented, but otherwise uninjured. Trooper Bleichner was able to lead the resident outside to safety.
Trooper Michael A. Bianco, Troop K
On the morning of May 6, 2012 Trooper Michael A. Bianco and other law enforcement members responded to a report of a submerged vehicle with a person trapped inside. The vehicle was partially submerged within the Wappinger Creek off of Clinton Corners Road in the Town of Clinton. Upon arrival they found a distraught 42-year-old man who was desperately trying to get his 16-year-old nephew out of the submerged vehicle. Working as a team, some Troopers tied a rope between a patrol car and the submerged vehicle as an anchor while Trooper Bianco and two other Troopers entered into the shallow water and lifted the vehicle into an upright position. A Res-Q-Me tool and a serrated knife were used to free the unconscious male from the front passenger seat. He was brought to shore and CPR was initiated. Upon seeing his nephew’s seemingly lifeless body removed from the vehicle, the operator apparently fainted. He had been standing in the water and was quickly swept away by the current. Trooper Bianco swam after and was able to grab the driver. Trooper Bianco secured him in a cross-chest hold and swam back to the shore with him where he was turned over to a firefighter. Although the teenaged victim regained a pulse before he was transported to a local hospital, he did not survive. However, Trooper Bianco’s rescue of the vehicle operator prevented the family from suffering a second tragedy on that day.
Trooper Kevin P. Dobson Traffic Safety Award
The Traffic Safety Award recognizes a member’s commitment to saving lives and reducing accidents through public education and enforcement. This award is made possible with the help of the New York State Trooper Foundation. The award is named in honor of the late Trooper Kevin P. Dobson who was killed on March 26, 2011 on Interstate 290 in the Town of Tonawanda, Erie County. While outside his patrol vehicle conducting a vehicle and traffic stop, Troop Dobson was struck and killed by a passing motorist.
Trooper Jason F. Timko, Troop K
In 2012, Trooper Jason F. Timko, assigned to Troop K, S P East Fishkill, on Interstate 84, took the Division mission of Traffic Safety and applied it with outstanding results. In that year, Trooper Timko issued 1020 vehicle and traffic law uniform traffic tickets, made 42 DWI arrests, and issued 439 speeding tickets. During that same time frame, Trooper Timko answered 244 calls for service, investigated 33 traffic accidents and made 14 penal law arrests.
George M. Searle Memorial Award
The George M. Searle Memorial Award, established to honor the late Deputy Superintendent George M. Searle, is presented to individuals who have distinguished themselves in training and education.
Trooper Robert P. Brown, Traffic Safety Officer, Troop E
Trooper Robert P. Brown is responsible for a myriad of training issues for Troop E members such as Breath Testing, Speed Enforcement and the Division EVOC Program. In addition, he has assisted at the New York State Police Academy as an instructor for numerous recruit classes, most recently the 2012 recruit class. Trooper Brown has added to the development of the aforesaid training programs particularly the EVOC program, by providing an impartial critique of the curriculum and working in concert with the academy staff to “tweak” it accordingly. Most recently, Trooper Brown has provided training to members from Troops A, C, D, E and T in the operation of the new Chevrolet Caprice and Dodge Charger, which are part of the Division Vehicle Pilot Program. Trooper Brown has continually pushed the Division Driver Program in Troop E by preaching safe driving and completing member driving evaluations in all phases of the program (Probationary, General and Clinical). These efforts have paid off, as troop car accidents in Troop E fell from a total of 64 in 2011 to 43 in 2012, the lowest number in more than 10 years. In addition to the above training for members, Trooper Brown has stressed public highway safety education at community events and high schools throughout Troop E. He has conducted presentations at more than 30 area high schools reaching more than 600 new teenage drivers. He has also provided educational presentations at the Rochester Auto Show, St. John Fisher College, Corning Incorporated and the Monroe County Highway department. Trooper Brown administers the Child Passenger Safety Seat program in Troop E. In 2012, Troop E inspected more than 300 child seats and replacing 92.
Trooper John C. Campanella, School and Community Outreach Coordinator, Troop A
Trooper John C. Campanella has served as the Troop A School and Community Outreach Coordinator since 2006. He has increased safety in school districts throughout Western New York by conducting nearly 70 safety related presentations including Safe Schools, cyber bullying, internet safety, drug and alcohol awareness and prom safety. Since the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting tragedy, Trooper Campanella has given numerous presentations about school safety, attended various school safety team meetings and conducted school safety audits. In addition, Trooper Campanella has conducted many presentations to various community organizations on a variety of crime prevention, public safety and highway safety topics and he has participated in several community oriented NYSP Details.
Trooper William V. McDonagh Award
This award was established in honor of the late Trooper William McDonagh, who was killed in the line of duty on December 14, 1975. Trooper McDonagh actively participated in community events and this award recognizes State Police members for their exceptional community service efforts.
Sergeant Darren W. Forbes, Troop K
Sergeant Darren W. Forbes is a line Sergeant at SP Rhinebeck. He is also the Assistant Troop K Emergency Management NCO. He has served his community as a Volunteer Fire Firefighter for 32 years since joining at age 16. Sergeant Forbes serves as an active Firefighter & EMT with his department. His training both from the fire service and the State Police have led him to be credited with three life saving awards in his career. He was appointed as a Co- Emergency Management Coordinator for the town of Rhinebeck for the last five years, as a volunteer. He has also volunteered in his community by coaching children in his community, coaching CYO basketball, 7th grade boys & girls Softball for 14 years and serving as League President for several years. He helped in acquiring AEDs for the athletic fields in his town, a special interest of his, after his 15-year-old daughter was saved in gym class through the use of an AED. Sergeant Forbes has also sponsored several blood drives over the past nine years through the New York Blood Center, holding them at his fire company. In the summer of 2012, Sergeant Forbes was off-duty when he responded as an EMT with his ambulance squad to the scene of a horrific serious personal injury car accident on State Route 9G in the Town of Rhinebeck. Three victims, an elderly mother and father along with their son, were in a one-car accident. The vehicle had gone over a guard rail and into a tree, hitting the tree with the roof of the car, finally resting upright. The mother, 80 died instantly and the father, 80, and son, 43, suffered serious trauma and were pinned in the car. The two male victims survived with help of the rescue workers and the quick extrication work on the heavily damaged car. Sergeant Forbes’ actions and leadership no doubt played a large part in the survival of the two male subjects. In the fall of 2012 acting in the role of his Emergency Management NCO, Sergeant Forbes was tasked to help organize Troop K’s response to Hurricane Sandy. He helped manage resources and assets that were deployed to Long Island and Westchester County during the Hurricane and its aftermath. He helped ensure the efficient deployment of resources as needed and, acted as a liaison for the State Police command post over a period of two weeks. This time period also included the State Police response to a winter storm that hit the area less than a week after the hurricane and the subsequent gas shortage.
Superintendent’s Unit Citation Award
This award was established to recognize the outstanding efforts made by members of a particular unit or detail.
Computer Crimes Unit
The Computer Crime Unit (CCU) provides assistance to state, local and federal agencies in the securing and processing of digital evidence. The CCU also provides outreach to local communities, provides education on internet safety, and train law enforcement agencies in tools and processes to assist in prosecuting technology related crimes. The CCU consists of three primary areas: Field Investigations, the Computer Forensic Laboratory, and the Internet Crimes against Children Task Force. Each of these areas provides vital services to State Police members, as well as the public at large. In 2012, CCU members conducted more than 1,500 previews of digital evidence. CCU investigators also assisted stations and prosecutors in the writing and executing of search warrants. Executing these warrants and the subsequent investigations has led to the arrest of more than 50 child predators. Because of the increase in the requests for service with regard to digital evidence, the CCU also supervises the Computer Crime Specialist Program, in which 95 investigators and troopers have been trained by CCU staff in identifying and securing digital evidence, and conducting limited examinations of digital evidence. These specialists provide additional technical know-how to the Troops and details to which they are assigned, and assist CCU members with the increasing amount of requests for assistance regarding digital evidence. This year, these investigators and troopers conducted more than 700 previews of digital evidence.
Supervisor Recognition Awards
These awards recognize the outstanding work ethic demonstrated by both sworn and non-sworn supervisors who coordinate and oversee various units within the State Police.
Sergeant Christopher J. Waiss, Troop A
In 2012, Sergeant Christopher J. Waiss distinguished himself amongst his peers in leadership, response to incidents, notifications, managerial courage and DWI enforcement. Sergeant Waiss is a strong advocate for enhancing highway safety through DWI enforcement. In 2012, he personally supervised seven DWI checkpoints and three underage drinking details that achieved noteworthy results. In addition to his duties as Station Commander at SP Boston, Sergeant Waiss is also a Mobile Field Unit Squad Leader. He responded to nine incidents in the field that required administrative messages and or reports. In each instance, the reporting of the incident was accurate, timely and comprehensive.
Ms. Michelle A. Thomas, Chief Budgeting Analyst, Administration
For more than four years, with enthusiasm, independence of effort and professionalism, Ms. Michelle A. Thomas represented this agency on the Statewide Financial System Implementation Team. Ms. Thomas readied the Division to use the complex SFS tools to improve our productivity and efficiency. This enormous accomplishment was done while Ms. Thomas continued to perform with the highest professional standards in all other areas of responsibility associated with her position. Ms. Thomas’ leadership skills have been clearly demonstrated to all Division employees as well as outside agency representatives that have been involved in this endeavor. She is an example for all of the dedication and devotion to duty that this agency requires from its’ supervisors.
Civilian Employee Recognition Awards
The Civilian Employee Recognition Award is presented to civilian employees who have made significant contributions to the Division of State Police.
Mr. Robert Shaver, General Mechanic, Troop D
Mr. Robert F. Shaver serves as the General Mechanic at Troop D Headquarters in Oneida, N.Y. Since July of 2010, a multi-million dollar construction project has been underway which includes a new building for the Forensic Investigation Unit, the addition of a new high-tech classroom and high-tech conference room to the existing headquarters building, and a complete interior remodeling of the majority of the existing building, including asbestos remediation and an electrical upgrade. This project is ongoing, and expected to be completed in June 2013. Mr. Shaver has served as the liaison between the facility, the New York State Office of General Services, and construction personnel from all four major contracts (General Construction, HVAC, Plumbing, and Electrical). In this capacity, Mr. Shaver is responsible for coordinating all areas of work within Troop headquarters. Mr. Shaver has served as the primary contact for a myriad of outside vendors that are associated with this project. Mr. Shaver has been fully invested in this project, including such things as coordinating furniture deliveries, meeting with heating controls experts, and making trips to SP Ray Brook to gain valuable knowledge on a new building mechanical unit. Mr. Shaver has balanced the additional responsibility of this massive construction project with his normal duties of supervising three employees and ensuring routine building maintenance, such as cleaning, snow removal, and lawn mowing, continued as required. This also includes yearly maintenance duties preparing two buildings and an exhibit at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, N.Y. As a supervisor, Mr. Shaver holds his subordinates accountable for their work and treats them with dignity and respect. Mr. Shaver has demonstrated this throughout this project. His efforts have ensured that best interests of the State, as well as the sworn and non-sworn employees of Troop D, have been advanced and protected.
Mr. Nicholas J. Pumilio, Maintenance Assistant, Troop L
On October 29th, 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeastern United States. Long Island suffered severe and unprecedented damage as a result of this storm. During the hurricane and in its wake, several people lost their lives, more than one million Long Island residents were without power, and thousands of homes were lost or severely damaged. This led to unprecedented requests for State Police assistance by the Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments, as well as the City of Long Beach. At its peak strength, more than 500 Division members were assigned to this detail during each 24-hour period in both counties, in assignments that ranged from traffic and crime control, to rescuing and assisting people affected by this storm. SP Farmingdale, already in disarray due to ongoing construction, was deeply, physically impacted by the storm and the additional personnel that arrived for the detail. From emergency power loss, to maintenance issues, the physical needs required to ensure the success of the detail were many. In spite of being personally impacted by the storm, Mr. Nicholas J. Pumilio worked long and tedious hours for many consecutive days to ensure that SP Farmingdale could continue to function as the operational headquarters for this large deployment of Division resources. He performed countless tasks far outside of his job description to ensure that the Hurricane Sandy Detail was put in a position to provide the service desperately needed by the communities it served on Long Island. From generator repair to restocking supplies, there was nothing Mr. Pumilio was not willing to do to help. His dedication and hard work contributed greatly to the overall success of the detail.